Trying to make Yanks' roster, Sizemore progressing

Trying to make Yanks' roster, Sizemore progressing

TAMPA, Fla. -- Scott Sizemore already had his crossword puzzle about halfway completed at his clubhouse locker on Thursday morning. You tend to develop those kinds of skills after two serious knee injuries.

"I've had a lot of time on my hands the last few years," said Sizemore, who is hoping to find a roster spot as a Yankees infielder after being forced to sit out most of the last two seasons.

Sizemore tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee while with the Athletics in February 2012, then re-injured the ACL last April, with a partial meniscus tear. He said that he has been doing more conditioning and is almost ready to get on the field.

"There's no pain or anything to really restrict me," Sizemore said. "It's just a matter of getting out on the field and doing it. They've been kind of taking it easy on me, hitting them maybe a step or two to my left or right. I'm just trying to progress to more and more movement. So far, so good."

Sizemore, 29, came up through the Tigers' chain as a second baseman and was moved to third base by Oakland in 2011. He said that he expects to be capable of playing both positions at a high level, which could help him challenge Eduardo Nunez for a roster spot.

Sizemore said that he has outs in his Minor League contract for May 1 and Aug. 1, and would go to Triple-A if he does not make the team out of camp. One encouraging sign in Sizemore's favor: He was issued uniform No. 24, last worn by Robinson Cano.

"That's some pretty serious shoes to fill, but I'm glad they at least gave me a really good number," Sizemore said.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.